Courthouse coffee serves up nostalgia, holiday fun

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
A Hope tradition for years, the Hempstead County Courthouse hosted an estimated crowd of 200, in-and-out throughout the morning, for its annual Christmas-time coffee on Wednesday.
Coordinated by both Hempstead County officials and county employees, the lit up and decorated courthouse building included a several tables along the second floor of all types of holiday appetizers, snacks, cakes and treats presented buffet-style along the hallway.
“We have combined our Christmas coffee with the Bicentennial, so we have a much nicer event this year than we normally. It is always a friendly running rivalry between us and Farmers Bank on who has the largest coffee of the year. We always like to say that we have the biggest one in town,” County Judge Haskell Morse said.
In addition to the usual holiday festivities, several of the courthouse women, including officers like Judy Flowers and Kim Smith, were donned in costumes and era-specific wear from 200 years ago.
The crowd was also a bit enhanced by several regular courthouse visitors and an ongoing court session upstairs on the third floor. Incoming and outgoing lawyers were greeted to the festive scene and treats.
One attorney said, “We wondered what all the noise was; it looks like a great party going on down here. They really went all out.”
For some, including several former public officials as well as Chamber board members, the aura of the event was the swan song for the current courthouse. In 2019, the Hempstead County Courthouse and seat of county government will be in the current downtown Hope Farmer’s Bank Building, the same one that hosted the Chamber coffee last week.

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